Friday, September 11, 2020

Why is Learning Through Nature So Successful?

Why is Learning Through Nature So Successful? - Montessori daycare - Montessori West

Authentic Montessori daycare foster a love of nature and the environment. Maria Montessori observed that people are becoming further and further removed from intimate involvement with nature. Instead of spending time in the forests, on the beaches, and climbing the mountains, we are more and more content to see those things from a distance and tend to a small plot of ground around the home. She sought to address the separation of people from the natural world by giving children access to as much nature as she could.

Concrete Vs Abstract

Daycare children learn better by doing than being told. It is one thing to be told that a plant grows out of the soil, but it is a completely different experience to nurture a seedling and care for the plant until it produces a flower or a vegetable. By providing children with the tools and ability to work directly with living things, the Montessori Method teaches the connection between abstract concepts and the natural world. By caring for nature, we discover that we are part of nature.

Learning Through Doing

Providing young children with tools and activities that they can wrap their hands-- and minds-- around gives them an incentive to want to learn and do. Learning with hands-on activities is at the very foundation of Montessori education, and there is no better example of it in action than to watch children “playing” at a real-world goal like growing plants.

We Are the World

Through hands-on activities like sorting leaves by type of tree, or counting wildflowers children discover that nature is all around them, all the time. This is especially beneficial for the smaller kids, because of the vast assortment of textures, colors, and scents provided by interaction with nature. 

Maria Montessori pointed out that nature is important in many ways, culturally, physically, and intellectually. Simply exploring the variety of plants or insects in the yard is an engaging way to spend time with small children. It opens their minds to the bounty of the world and gives them real-world opportunities to learn everything from counting to language and the arts.

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